26 Jan 2017, 4:45am

Comments Off on “…Eyeballs…” Book II: 16 Day Two And Beyond

“…Eyeballs…” Book II: 16 Day Two And Beyond

Hey! You Got Eyeballs In There?

By Kate Chamberlin


As Grace grows up, some of her stories are happy, some trying, some enlightening, and a few themes are sad, but, they’re all the warp and woof of what goes into the tapestry of life we call Family. The daily living skills and techniques demonstrated by the fictional characters in these stories are valid, tried and true.


Book II:  The Teenagers

#10. Bad News

#11.  Grace’s Day One

#12 Knight With Shining Flatware

#13. The Locker Fiasco

#14. Lost In Thought

#15. The Musician

#16. Day Two And Beyond

She ended up in the boy’s bathroom again and tried to beat a hasty retreat, but, in her panic, she dropped Crackers’ harness. She began to feel along the wall for the way out. The walls were cold and clammy. She bumped into the urinals. They began to come closer and surround her; closer and closer they came with an angry warning buzz. One bent to touch her cheek. It was cold and slimy.

Her mind sprang awake as her heart continued to thud loudly in her chest. It took a moment to realize that her alarm buzzer was going off and that Crackers had stuck her nose into Grace’s cheek. She wiped off the slime and gave the friendly dog a big hug, as the sotto voice on the radio continued with the oldie, moldy refrain about “the darkest hour is just before dawn”. Wiggling her feet around to find her slippers, she hoped today would be better than yesterday.

At Grace’s request, her Mother drove her to school a little early. Grace was determined to be independent and had put her Braille labeler into her backpack. Once through the side doors, the clickety-click of Crackers’ nails sounded loud in the quiet halls. Both Grace and Crackers were eager to do well.


After Crackers had guided Grace to their home room, Grace counted seven lockers from the door and felt around for the Locker’s number plate. She

thought her fingers must have been cold or playing tricks on her. She found the number plate and right beneath it was the number in Braille. She felt for the knob of the combination lock. Braille had been put there, too. She was sure it hadn’t been there yesterday. Grace tried the combination and it worked just fine. It was the right locker and the right combination, but, who had done this?


Crackers was working well today and they made all their morning classes on time. Heather had never come up to ask if Grace wanted help and Grace was just as glad.

In the lunch line, Grace was pleasantly surprised to hear Ken’s low baritone alongside her. She managed to get her tray onto the slide bars and even found the flatware and straws. As the cashier punched her lunch card, Ken said, “There’s no way I’m going to carry your books, but, may I carry your tray to our table?”

Grace rather liked the way he said “our table” and let his presumptiveness that she would have lunch with him go without a snide remark from her.

“What lady could ever refuse such an offer? Yes, thank you, Sir,” she said coyly. She remembered that he played the Classical Guitar and piano. She wondered if he had long, slender fingers or if they were just nimble?

After lunch, Ken went with her to the back side door as she gave Crackers a chance to piddle and park. Their conversation was casual and relaxed.

She was still thinking of him when she went to her next class. As she sat down in her chair, she felt a hot, gushing flood between her thighs. She felt the blood drain from her face as she realized that her period had started and she had no protection. The bell hadn’t rung yet, so, she got quickly out of her chair and headed for the nurse’s office. She knew which way to go and hoped she’d get there in time to prevent a major embarrassment. She was thankful that most of the other kids were already in their classes and she could concentrate on where she was. As she passed a door she noticed the distinct odor of rubbing alcohol and antiseptic. There was no doubt that it was the nurse’s office, so, she called out, “Hello.”

“Hi. You’re in the nurse’s office. Need something?” a soft voice asked her.

“Are you the nurse? I have an emergency.” Grace said urgently.

“No,” she answered. “I’m Edie, a student helper. The Nurse is at lunch. Is there something I can do to help you?”

Grace really did not want to tell the whole school what was wrong, but, she needed a pad right now and had no choice about it.

“Yes,” she replied, “I have started my period and need a pad. Does the nurse have a supply?”

“Yes. She keeps them in the cupboard next to the toilet for just such emergencies,” Edie answered quietly. “It’s on your right.”

Grace commanded, “Crackers, bathroom.”  As Edie said, “Holler, if you need any help.”

When Grace had gotten herself together and come out of the bathroom, she tentatively said, “Edie?”

“Yeah? You OK now?” Edie said in her soft voice.

“Yes, thank you. Crackers, chair.”

Crackers guided Grace to the chair next to the desk where Edie waited. Grace gratefully sank into it. There was something in Edie’s quiet demeanor that invited talk and Grace just began to babble.

“It has been so hard to come to a new school. It has been all I could think of the past few weeks. I should have known that over-reacting to everything, all the tears, and feeling fat, were signs that my period was due soon. I had such an awful nightmare about being trapped in the boy’s bathroom, that I never paid attention to the fact that my ears were more waxy than usual. That is a sure sign that I need to carry a pad, but, I never gave it a second thought this morning.”

Grace paused with a sigh and continued, “I’m sorry. I don’t usually go around telling everyone how I know my period is due. My apologies.”

Then, to try to take the edge off her own embarrassment, she asked, “What does a student worker do in the Nurse’s Office, anyway?”

Edie gave a soft chuckle and said, “Oh, I count Bandaids on Monday, tongue depressors on Tuesday. Then for excitement on Wednesdays, I count the cotton balls. It isn’t much but I get paid a little and that helps with the groceries at home. Do you want a pass now to get back into class or would you like to stay here the rest of the class time?”

Grace stayed and they found each other easy to talk to. They had many things in common. They were both Seniors and had three classes together, as well as an interest in hiking, and crafts.

When the bell startled them back into the reality of school, they walked to Spanish together and exchanged phone numbers. Grace had a new friend. She remembered her mother had said that her new school would be an opportunity to make new friends. Her mother was right.


The next day as Grace and Edie were about to go to their Seventh Period classes, Edie asked, “Grace, what do you do in the Resource Room?”

“It’s my Study Hall, but, because I need to use Braille and the talking computer, I go to the Resource Room where my equipment is,” Grace said, surprised that Edie had never been in there and did not know what it was. “Maybe we can get permission for you to come in and we could study together. Would you like to do that?”

Edie agreed and the following week found them sitting at Grace’s computer terminal. “I am going to introduce you to HAL, Edie,” Grace said with a grin. “It is the speech program of the screen reader that makes it possible for me to use the computer. Some computers for the blind have refreshable Braille outputs, but, this one uses the Apollo speech synthesizer.” She booted up the system, listening to the ticks, beeps, and whirrs to tell her when to turn on the various peripheral equipment.

A loud and clear “Hi” came from the synthesizer and startled Edie.

“Hi,” she automatically said back and immediately felt foolish to have talked to a computer.

Grace laughed and said, “I always say hi to HAL whenever I boot him up. Somehow it seems rude to not answer, even if it is a computer. Hal and I have done so much together that I often refer to him as just Hal. People have thought I’m dating a boy named Hal. They are surprised to find out it is a computer and a talking computer at that.”

Grace put in her homework diskette and continued, “While the speech or Braille makes it possible to use the computer, the optical scanner makes it possible for me to do much of my own reading without paying a person to read for me. I can lay almost any typed document on this lighted flat-bed. It will be scanned into the computer, converted into ASCII, and then into the word processor. I use Word2013. HAL will read it to me right away or I can save it as a file. It is a lot like the bar code scanner they use in the grocery store.”

“I thought you used a lap-top computer in class for taking notes. Can you take the information from that small computer and up-load it into this one?” Edie asked with growing amazement.

“Yes, that is exactly what I do,” Grace said. “Then I can re-arrange my notes and mesh them in with text from other files. Sometimes I scan a whole book just to be able to refer to it during my homework time. It is really quick to look up things using List Files index or the SEARCH feature.”

“Boy, would I like one of these,” Edie said with envy.

“Sorry, you have to be blind to get one of these babies,” Grace said with a grin.

Grace and Edie began to study together all the time. Some study halls they would be in the Resource Room and other times they would be in the library or, as Mrs. Rae liked to call it: the Media Center.


Mrs. Rae’s gruff  voice was the one Grace had heard that first day of school when she had mistakenly gone into the library instead of the main office. Edie and Grace were always careful to have their passes ready for Mrs. Rae to sign.

“She was here before they built the building,” Edie whispered to Grace one day. “They say that she is mean; however, the Media Center would not be as terrific as it is without her sovereignty. Everybody’s afraid of her.”

They thought Mrs. Rae had heard them talking, because, they heard her footsteps before she got to their table. She said, “Grace, I came across this book I thought you might find helpful in your Literature class. No one else in this school can read it, so, you may borrow it until the end of the school term.”

Her voice was not the unfriendly voice Grace had come to associate with her, but, that of an older woman. The older woman who had helped her with her locker and then told her where her bus could be found. Grace was surprised at this revelation, but, did not let on she knew. The book was an Anthology of stories that would indeed be very helpful to her. It was in Braille, so, of course, no one else would be borrowing it. She began to thank Mrs. Rae, but, the Media Center specialist had already left for the stacks. It dawned on Grace that now she also knew who had put the Braille on her locker.


The following week, Grace noticed that the book she was returning didn’t slip into the book bin behind the slot the way it usually did. A quick examination with her hand told her that it was over-flowing with books. When she asked Edie about it, Edie said, “The library aide is out this week and with all the budget cuts, they won’t hire a substitute aide. I guess Mrs. Rae is behind in checking in the books. She seems angry all the time now.”

Grace decided it was time to repay the kindness shown to her earlier in the year. She swallowed hard and approached Mrs. Rae’s desk.

“Mrs. Rae?” she tentatively asked.

“Yes, Grace,” she answered and Grace was able to pin-point her location and walk up to her.

“Mrs. Rae, I know how to use the light-pen and computer to check in books. I have a free period on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I would like to feel useful and check in books. I wouldn’t be able to shelve them, but, it would help get the books back into circulation quicker.” she blurted out and then held her breath.

There was a long pause (Edie, who was watching, later said that there was a broad smile on Mrs. Rae’s face that few people had seen.) “OK, Grace, we’ll give it a try. Are you ready to start now or Monday?” Her voice was that friendly one. Grace felt much relief and began to breathe again.

As it turned out, she became the student worker in the Media Center and even got paid to do it. She not only checked in books, but, helped with inventory using the hand-held scanner, Cleaned the books and equipment the teachers used, as well as conducting several of the story times for the Kindergarteners, who came twice a week. It was Grace’s first job and it made her feel very good about herself. Another one of her mother’s opportunities had happened.

And speaking of opportunities, Grace and Ken had lunch together almost every day. One particular day he asked, “How long have you had Crackers?”

“We have been together five months now, counting the month I lived at the training center with her.” Grace said, not surprised at his curiosity. Most people wanted to know about her dog.

“Only five months?” he said in surprise. “I thought the way you two worked together that you’d been friends a lot longer than that. Did you trust her from the first?  What was the training center like?”

“Whoa, one question at a time – my lap-top isn’t with me right now.” she said and they both laughed. “No, I didn’t trust her at first. I was used to using a long, white cane. All of us used them at the residential school, but, when we found out that I would have to come to a public school, my Mom talked me into trying for a dog. They won’t give dogs to kids under 16 except for some Independent Living dogs who help with kids in wheel chairs. I wasn’t sold on the idea. Who needs one more responsibility when doing things for myself is so hard already?  I went with the idea that if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t bring the dog home. She was friendly and a good worker but I did not trust her. I mean, put my life in a dog’s paws?  It wasn’t until a delivery van cut the corner in White Plains that I started to completely trust her. The trucks back wheels jumped up onto the sidewalk and Crackers pulled backwards so hard on the harness that I stepped out of the truck’s way. I could hear he was close, but all the traffic sounded close. She saw it was dangerous and backed off – taking me with her.” Grace paused with a lump in her throat just remembering how scary it was five months ago.

“What about the training center?”  Ken prompted.

“Well, at first I hated it. The people were noisy and seemed to puff themselves up to impress each other. They acted like they were entitled to everything. It was rather intimidating. I started a quiet conversation with an older man next to me. Roger was nice and we still call each other now and then. He is a Grand Master chess player and still plays by using a computer chess board. Eventually, I talked with each of the fourteen people there and got to know their stories: one was a mountain man from Kentucky who was blind because of a bad batch of moon-shine, one was a financial advisor with a big bank in Chicago, one was a real, honest to God Chippewa Indian Chief. Most of them were in their 30’s. Only one had to make a career change. I got to like the training center, because, it was set up for blind people. They served meals and automatically told you what was where. They weren’t shy about saying, “Grace, side step left.” so you don’t smash into a table. They always said my name and then their own name, which is so helpful. I lived there for one month and came away with a wonderful friend, my guide dog.”

“What were some of the things you had to do with her?”  He pumped with intense seriousness.

“Oh, we worked mostly in the Bronx, White Plains, and Peekskill, New York. We learned to ride city buses, go up elevators, down escalators, and even how to go through revolving doors. The scariest time, besides that truck, was riding the subway under the streets in the Bronx. We also learned how to care for our dogs by feeding them nutritious dog kibbles and to not  let them get fat. They gave us grooming tools and tips as well as orders to spray for fleas and Vet check-ups at least once a year.”

The bell rang and they had to hurry to get their trays put back. Later Grace wondered why Ken had so many questions about Crackers. Why did his questions seem like more than curiosity?  She didn’t think  he hated dogs, but, perhaps he didn’t like having one hanging around ALL the time. Did his questioning have an ominous meaning?

One day after lunch, toward the end of September, as they stood at the back side door to piddle and park Crackers, Ken self-consciously cleared his throat and croaked out all in one breath, “Grace, the Homecoming Weekend will be in two weeks. There is usually a Volley Ball game and a bonfire on Friday night, soccer game Saturday afternoon, a dance that night with another bonfire at the beach, and then a Memorial Service for classmates and graduates who have died and a football game on Sunday. Would you go with me?”

They both laughed as he gulped in a huge breath to keep from passing out. She was all fluttery inside and just barely managed to say a shy, “Yes, I’d like that.” And grinned at him. She wondered if his grin looked as silly as hers felt.




19 Jan 2017, 9:21am

Comments Off on “…Eyeballs…” Book II: 15. The Musician

“…Eyeballs…” Book II: 15. The Musician

Hey! You Got Eyeballs In There?

By Kate Chamberlin


As Grace grows up, some of her stories are happy, some trying, some enlightening, and a few themes are sad, but, they’re all the warp and woof of what goes into the tapestry of life we call Family. The daily living skills and techniques demonstrated by the fictional characters in these stories are valid, tried and true.


Book II:  The Teenagers

#10. Bad News

#11.  Grace’s Day One

#12 Knight With Shining Flatware

#13. The Locker Fiasco

#14. Lost In Thought

#15. The Musician

The rolling thunder never penetrated Ken’s sound proof room in his parent’s basement. Sound didn’t get

In and sound didn’t get out. Each morning at 4:00 AM, he’d come down to be with the love of his life: his music. One morning he’d strum his classical guitar; another morning wail on his trumpet; still another morning blow his slide trombone. Music was in his soul and came out his fingers. He’d loose himself deep into a parallel universe.

The buzz of the intercom brought him back to his basement studio. Ken went up for breakfast. The smell of bacon, French toast, and clover honey wrapped around him like a cozy quilt of earthly wonders.

“Thanks, Mom,” Ken said. “This sure smells great. It’s later than I thought. Dad’s already left for work?”

“Yes,” she said with a smile. “You’d left the music room door ajar, so he came down to listen to you for a spell.  We were commenting on how much you’ve improved since you were three-years old, scratching away with Suzuki on that junior sized violin.”

“I think it is high time you threw out that embarrassing tape of me,” Ken grimaced. “Does Aunt Genny want me to stop in before school?”

“No. my sister has a pile of mail to go through,” his Mom said. “But, it’ll wait until after school. You’re running a little late. I don’t want you to do any speeding in Stang.”

Ken’s day was off to a great start, he mused as the hot shower relaxed his tall, lean body. Towel drying his curly, dark brown hair, he looked forward to his classes. This was his senior year, taking several AP courses at the Eastman School of Music. The scholarship he’d been awarded would enable him to attend Summer courses before attending full-time in the Fall.

Stang was a white, ‘78 Mustang with a variety of rusty “beauty marks”, but, it was transportation and he took good care of it. This morning, he wore his khaki slacks and a pale tan Polo shirt. His Mom liked the preppy look and he thought the colors looked good with Stang’s red leatherette interior.

He arrived at school, after his AP course at the Eastman, in time for lunch. He noticed a Golden Retriever with a harness on in the lunch line. He knew it for what it was: a working dog. When the girl’s lunch tray slipped off the slide rails, he knew exactly what her problem was. His Aunt Jenny was legally blind, so he often picked up things for her. As a matter of fact, He’d be reading her mail to her after school. He saw the girl bend over to pick up the tray and bash her head on the way down. He picked up the tray for her and said, “The tray is in front of you now.”

When they got to the end of the serving line, he guessed at her predicament and said, “It looks like you need three hands. Would you like me to carry your tray to a table?”

“Thanks,” the girl mumbled. “I think that would be the safest thing to do under the circumstances. Do you see where Heather went?”

Ken had been in Heather’s sights before and she made him feel uncomfortable. He also knew what a user she could be.

“Yes,” Ken answered in his low baritone. “But, there are no more chairs at that table. Would you sit with me at another table?”

Ken laughed when she told him, “Ok, but no guarantees about not dumping gravy in your lap.”

There was something that made him feel comfortable with this klutzy, blind girl



Copyright (C) 1996, 2016, 2017 by Kate Chamberlin



12 Jan 2017, 7:11am

Comments Off on “…Eyeballs…” Book II: 14. Lost In Thought

“…Eyeballs…” Book II: 14. Lost In Thought

Hey! You Got Eyeballs In There?

By Kate Chamberlin


As Grace grows up, some of her stories are happy, some trying, some enlightening, and a few themes are sad, but, they’re all the warp and woof of what goes into the tapestry of life we call Family. The daily living skills and techniques demonstrated by the fictional characters in these stories are valid, tried and true.


Book II:  The Teenagers

#10. Bad News

#11.  Grace’s Day One

#12 Knight With Shining Flatware

#13. The Locker Fiasco

#14. Lost In Thought

The bus driver was as good as his word. He dropped her off at the end of her street. Although the street was paved, it ended in a cul-de-sac that did not have side-walks or curbs. Grace and Crackers had walked it many times during the summer just for exercise and something to do. She was not worried about getting home and let her mind wander, thinking over some of the things that happened that day.

She felt Crackers’ energy as she pulled hard to get up to the top of the hill. Why was it, Grace wondered, that the dog found all this work so much fun. Grace felt drained. Her thoughts turned to the smooth, low baritone who had been so helpful at lunch time. Suddenly, Grace realized they were starting down the other side of the hill. Crackers had gone past their home and Grace Wasn’t sure how far they’d gone. Bile rose in her throat from fear and panic.

“Crackers, Go Home!” Grace loudly said in fright, hoping the dog would get the message and take them to the unique wooden mailbox they used as a landmark.

Crackers turned to the right, into the middle of the street. Grace could feel the crown of the road. Crackers stopped and then turned to the left. She was confused as to what she was to do.

“Crackers, go home.” Grace repeated again, but, this time in a voice that would not scare the dog. Crackers took several steps forward down the hill but then turned to go back up the hill. After several yards, she stopped. Grace felt the gravel of the shoulder under her feet and reached out with her hand.  She felt the unique but familiar mail-box. It was especially made to hold the Library of Congress Braille books and Records that used to come each week.

“Good girl. Crackers, go home,” Grace   said calmly with relief flooding through her body. She had been so deep in thought, not paying attention to her surroundings,  that she had not told Crackers to go home so she didn’t. The perfect ending to my day, she mused in discussed.

Dinner was quiet that night. Her Dad was on a business trip and her brother was at a Volley ball game. That left her mother and her to have dinner together. Grace really didn’t want to talk about her day. After dinner, her Mother respected her privacy and went off to cut out construction paper pumpkins for her Nursery School children. Grace often helped her with projects, but, she really didn’t want to trace 27 little pumpkins tonight.

Later that evening, when Grace was in her favorite fleecy sleepshirt, reading a braille book, her Mother revived an old tradition that Grace had almost forgotten about. She came into Grace’s room in her flannel robe and PJ’s carrying a tray with two cups, two cookies, and a small chubby pot of fragrant hot herb tea.

“Hi, could we have tea time?”  Her Mother asked. A flood of mushy love gushed over Grace. Before she had gone to the residential school, they always used to ask that of each other whenever one had something to talk about. Sometimes they had tea time just to be together, just us girls, no boys allowed.

During tea time that night, Grace opened up and talked about her day as her Mother listened sympathetically. As Grace talked she felt better and knew that the worst was over. At least she hoped the worst was over. Life had a way of   rolling lemons tart as sour balls her way and she wasn’t so sure she could make any more sweet lemonade.


Copyright (C) 1996, 2016, 2017 by Kate Chamberlin



5 Jan 2017, 4:46am

Comments Off on “…Eyeballs…” Book II: 13. The Locker Fiasco

“…Eyeballs…” Book II: 13. The Locker Fiasco

Hey! You Got Eyeballs In There?

By Kate Chamberlin


As Grace grows up, some of her stories are happy, some trying, some enlightening, and a few themes are sad, but, they’re all the warp and woof of what goes into the tapestry of life we call Family. The daily living skills and techniques demonstrated by the fictional characters in these stories are valid, tried and true.


Book II:  The Teenagers

#10. Bad News

#11.  Grace’s Day One

#12 Knight With Shining Flatware

#13. The Locker Fiasco

s   “Oh, good heavens,” Ken said, beginning to laugh, too.

Grace wanted to die as she quickly pulled the straw out of her nose.

“Noel Pollard just came in with the funniest outfit on. He is our class clown and has a real knack for making us laugh. He is sitting down at the table next to us.”

“Oh,” she said, relieved to know they had not been laughing at her. Apparently no one had seen her bad aim because of Noel’s well timed entrance. She tried to regain her composure by asking Ken, “Are you in any of my classes?” keeping her voice even and hoping it didn’t sound stupid.

“No, just lunch,” he said still chuckling a little. “I’m a senior taking a couple AP courses in hopes of getting into the Eastman School of music. I play the Classical Guitar and piano.”

“Oh,” she said again. It was all she could come up with. As Grace was scooping the last bite of chocolate pudding accurately in to her mouth, Heather came over to the table.

“Hi’ya, Kenny,” she said in a honey smooth voice that made it hard for Grace to recognize who was speaking. The thought occurred to her that Heather was impressed with Ken and wished she hadn’t left Grace alone in the line. “We have to get to our next class. You ready?  The tray return is over here.”

Grace clattered around getting Crackers up, her tray balanced, and eventually found the “here” that Heather meant. She heard Heather say a silky, “bye, Kenny.” as she muttered her own, “bye.”

Turning right from the cafeteria, they headed to their lockers. When Grace heard Heather working her own locker combination, she screwed up her courage and asked, “What is my locker number, Heather?”

“Oh, yours is 153 and mine is 155. That’s why they assigned me to baby sit you today. Do you think you can remember the way for tomorrow or do you want me to help again?”

“And, what is my lock combination?  I would like to try it myself this time,” she added, trying to keep the irritation out of her voice. It was never her intention to be a burden to this girl. Grace had not asked to have a sighted guide, much less an unwilling baby sitter. She didn’t even ask to be in this bogus school.

“Your combination is on this paper. It is left to 13; right to 24; and left to 10. Now, what about tomorrow?” she said with some irritation herself.

“I’m not sure I’ll be in tomorrow. But, thanks anyway,” Grace forced cheerfully.

“OK, suit yourself. I’ll check with you in the morning if you’re in,” Heather said and hurried off to join her friends in the classroom near their lockers.

Grace’s memory was good and she remembered the combination exactly, but, to be sure, she took out her mini-digital and recorded it.

As she took hold of the knob on the lock, she realized the folly of trying to do this herself. The numbers were not raised, much less in Braille. How was she going to figure out where even the first number was?  With her cheeks burning and her eyes threatening to flood over, she heard an older woman’s gruff voice say, “Seems to me that you’re in quite a pickle here. Mind if I help?”

After the woman had gotten the locker open, she left before Grace could even say, “Thank you.”  She’d heard that voice earlier today, but, she could not match a name or location to it.

Grace made a mental note that she must definitely make some Braille labels.

The last three periods of school seemed to go slowly, and yet, the clanging of the final bell startled her. She would now have to face finding the right bus. Too bad Crackers couldn’t read. Then most of Grace’s problems would be solved. They went out the front doors of the school with all the other kids jostling them despite Crackers’ best efforts. Out on the cement apron, amid the stinky diesel fumes and rumbling bus engines, she had Crackers stop. To no one in particular she said out loud, “Where is Bus 161 located?”

She heard the older woman’s gruff voice at her right side say, “It is the last bus to your left. Walk straight to the curb and step in. It is always in that location.”

Grace murmured her thank you but knew it was lost in the hub-bub of teens eager to get home. None was more eager than Grace and she hurried to her bus. The driver knew she would be on his bus and had kept the front passenger seat clear for her and her guide dog. He asked her where she wanted to get off so she gave him her address.

“I don’t go down that street,” he said. “I’ll drop you off at the corner. Okay?  Close enough?”

Grace said, “Okay. Thanks.” But, she thought: Right! Nothing like a half-mile walk to get home. Another of life’s little challenges.



Copyright (C) 1996, 2016, 2017 by Kate Chamberlin


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